DRC: when comics help the image of Kinshasa

The comic strip wants to restore the image of the Congolese capital Kinshasa. Comic artists have published a work entitled Mbok’elengi. Resourcefulness, couples’ crazy stories or road traffic … The work of a dozen authors reviews the daily life of Kinshasa.

With our correspondent in Kinshasa, Pascal Mulegwa

« Mbok’elengi, meaning a good country, a good part of the world, a pleasant place. Sitting in the beautiful greenery of the Academy of Fine Arts, Crebix Mozalisi, one of the authors of this comic book, flips through the 54 pages of the book and stops on a scene involving a policeman. « The gentleman comes forward, he asks the young people playing soccer, ‘why are you playing without a face mask?' »

Mola Boyika, another cartoonist participating in the collective work, was interested in women: « For example, here, the couple had to go out for a party, the woman comes to expose her dresses, she asks the question to her man, the man says: « it’s beautiful, I like it », but the woman says: « I find a serious problem with this and that ». She changes her dress. She changed so many dresses that the man was annoyed and tired. As time passed, the woman put on the first dress « 

The daily life of the Kinois

By collecting these many stories, Crebix Mozalisi and his fourteen colleagues, all young, want to give another narrative about Kinshasa and the country. « Our main objective was to present Kinshasa in another way, not to divide people, not to create a kind of coldness in the hearts or in the heads of those who expect to talk about Kinshasa. Because generally when they talk about Kinshasa, it’s either the Kulunas or stories that are very bloody. So, we wanted to show that in the daily life of the Kinshasa people, there are also stories and adventures that make you laugh, that make you cry, it remains a kind of rainbow, we find all the colors.

A whole year for the comic artists to finalize the comic. It was printed abroad because of the high cost of printing in the country.

Comics are considered to be a medium that plays the three functions that any other medium can play. That’s why it is said that comics can contribute to improving the image of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the national and international opinion. The Congolese comic artists, like those of other African countries, always face the same problem. That is, the problem of publishing houses and the problem of funding. If the Ministry of Culture can engage in a support to publishing, that is to say to help these young cartoonists to publish their works and that these works are made available to public libraries or school libraries, the State will have played a great role. These young people are tempted to make their own efforts to publish comics. They make them and they sell them at the lowest price. If the Congolese state commits itself to supporting publishing, comics could contribute to a change in mentality. I remember when we were young, there was a magazine called « Jeunes pour jeunes ». It was a magazine that was read in every corner of the Congo. And we discovered comics by reading « Jeunes pour jeunes ».

SOURCE: https://www.rfi.fr/fr/culture/20220721-rdc-quand-la-bd-vole-au-secours-de-l-image-de-kinshasa

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